Friday, September 05, 2008

Question from Nolaboy84 - Jane's motto in Latin

Hi, I am a history major at Tulane, and Jayne is my favourite queen, can anyone tell me her motto IN LATIN, not Enlgish.

I know what it is in English but can't remember the Latin. This would mean so much to me for Personal reasons


[Ed. note - I'm assuming Jane Seymour, whose motto was "Bound to Obey and Serve" in English. Unfortunately my Latin education consists of one year in junior high and the stray stuff I've picked up in science and history!]


Anonymous said...

Reus obtempero quod Servo

I never would have expected it, but there are online English to Latin translators:

Of course, if they are as bad as most of the other automatic translators, it may mean something else entirely *LOL*

Anonymous said...

You are correct, Kathy, that automatic translators can produce something with an entirely different meaning. My Latin is very rusty, but "reus" is a noun, not a verb. It means convict, felon, an accused person or defendant. The rough translation into English of the Latin your software provided is "I obey and I serve because I am a convicted criminal."

I think the more ideal word choice might be "obligaram" (first person present subjunctive of the verb "obligare"), "I am bound" or "I am obligated."

Obligaram obedire atque servire.

But please, if anyone took Latin after I did (the early 1980s) and remembers it better than I do, feel free to polish up my effort.

Foose said...

Jane's motto seems very close to the formulations for oaths of fealty taken by vassals; I wouldn't be surprised if the Latin might have come directly from such a recitation. It's strikingly feudal and traditionalist compared to her predecessor's highly individual, emotional and vaunting motto, "The Most Happy." I wonder if Jane really had anything to do with choosing it, or if Henry selected it to make it clear that henceforth the relationship between king and queen would unquestionably be that of master and servant. Anne believed she had achieved a relationship of near-equals through her acumen and ambition, while Katherine had established a somewhat more solid partnership bolstered by her seniority, connections, lineage and long-term patronage. I think Henry had gotten tired of equals.

After Anne and Katherine, Henry's queens in some ways seem to have filled just another office at court, as if there had to be a queen in much the same way there had to be a Lord Chamberlain or a Groom of the Stole. They seem to have been retained on the same terms, serving at the king's pleasure.

Alexandra K said...

"obligatus parere et servire"

This is my attempt, having taken two years of University level Latin (and starting my third). The word choices may have been different in the original motto, but the forms are right and it says what it's supposed to.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Alexandra's use of what I think is the ablative absolute "obligatus," rather than my use of the first person present subjunctive "obligaram." It is much more appropriate for use in a personal motto.

I also like her choice of "parere," which has a greater connotation of personal subservience than does my choice of "obedire." And I have seen "parere" used in Tudor-era mottos before, so it is an appropriate choice for the historical context.

But I stand by my choice of "atque" as the conjunction. It implies a stronger connection between obeying and serving, and suggests that service is a product of obedience.

Anonymous said...

However bad as some english to latin translators are, this one makes up for them. Translate English to Latin